A Character-Based Leadership Manifesto

How do you aspire to lead?

Yesterday I felt a strong urge to clearly articulate what Character-Based Leadership means to me.

As I wrote it I thought of:

  • Leaders that create beautiful symphonies by unleashing the differences and strengths of others.
  • Leader that inspire us all to lead at a higher level.
  • Leadership decisions that make my blood boil.
  • People I am currently serving and people I’ve served.
  • Times I’ve led well, and times I’ve failed.
  • All that I am and all that I hope to be…

The Impact of Vision without Ownership

Two real cities. One has it and one... Not so much!

A little over a week ago my husband and I rode motorcycle to a city that is about an hour away from where we are living.

It’s a city we visited for the first time nearly one year ago.  A city that provided such a powerful visual of how leadership or the lack of it, impacts our world that I wrote about it right after our first visit, and have continued to talk about it throughout the year…

  • A lack of a vision compared to a shared vision.
  • Chaos compared to order.
  • Anxiety compared to peace.
  • Darkness compared to light.
Read More About That Visit Here

This time we were in awe again:

Are You a Rule Maker, Rule Breaker or a Rule Faker?

Who are the rules for? Why were they created? Are they working?

A series of events has me thinking about rules.

First I thought about the Rule MAKERS I know.

We’ll make this rule because it will make MY job easier!

Then I thought about the Rule BREAKERS I know.

I follow ALL the rules… EXCEPT

Then I thought about the Rule FAKERS I know.  

This rule is here just for our protection – I don’t care if it is followed or not, but if the authorities ever come, I can show them our rules.

And then I started to wonder if the makers, breakers and fakers ever considered these questions before they made a rule, broke a rule or pretended to have a rule. 

Who are the rules for?

Leading Up: When to accept, speak for change or move on…

Sooner or later we will all find ourselves in a situation where we could be leading up…

  • And will will need to choose to either accept what is happening, speak for change, or move on.

Each time I find myself in that situation the words below grow more powerful…

God grant me…

 The serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

The courage to change those I can.

And the wisdom to know the difference..

 Last week I read a very powerful article by Alli Polin that emphasized how leadership thrives when two people work closely together and titles don’t matter.

Smelling smoke? Is it coming from another leader?

Have you ever caught a whiff of a smoky haze coming from down the hall? …The kind that indicates something is not quite right?

Occasionally a fire alarm even goes off, but it is quickly silenced.

…But if you follow your nose the smoke gets thicker around another titled leader’s door.

Yes – I’m asking about a titled leader that may be a level or two below you, may be your direct report, your peer or even your boss.